VIP guests including Professor David Stocker, trustee of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and David Renwick, the Fund’s northern regional director, joined staff, trustees, donors and volunteers at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for the official opening of NYMR’s £4m Carriage Stable at Pickering, and its Volunteer Development Hub at Stape – both key projects in its £10m Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey (YMJ) Appeal.
Guests enjoyed a tour of both the state of the art carriage care facility and the volunteer hub, as well as the chance to see two iconic steam locomotives, Tornado and Lady of Legend, both of which are headline guest locomotives at the weekend’s popular Annual Steam Gala with up to 12 locomotives in steam including three visiting locomotives.
The five-track, single-storey Carriage Stable, featuring a cantilevered roof, will accommodate up to 40 of the railway’s heritage carriages, and for the first time enable vital servicing and cleaning tasks to be completed undercover. It will enter full service in 2022.
Funds for the Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey project have enabled the NYMR to completely redevelop the old school at Stape with a new role as ‘The Outstation’, the railway’s new Volunteer Development Hub and outreach centre.
It provides a 20-berth, fully-equipped facility enabling the NYMR to offer unparalleled levels of engagement and experiences to new and non-traditional audiences. It is intended to give a more diverse range of people and wider communities the opportunity to experience the pleasure and benefits of volunteering on a heritage railway.
The YMJ Appeal, designed to transform the railway and secure its future, is funded by grants from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Local Enterprise Partnership and by donations from the charity’s members and supporters.
The Carriage Stable and Volunteer Development Hub are just two of six major YMJ projects, which also include the new education coach at Goathland; ongoing lineside conservation; renewal and replacement of three worn-out iron bridges at Goathland and the conversion of four carriages to provide ‘fuss-free’ access, and tailored seating for wheelchair users and accessible toilets on every set of carriges.
The next part of the YMJ project is the renewal this winter of Bridges 24 and 25 at Goathland Station – crucial to the railway’s ongoing operation.
John Bailey, NYMR Trust chairman, said: “The carriage stable and new volunteer hub are prime examples of the principal aims of Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey – that, 50 years from now, people will still be learning from and enjoying the NYMR and the experience of steam travel across the Moors.”